House Presses Acting Director Of Intelligence About Whistleblower Complaint

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KING: Mr. Maguire is testifying about a whistleblower complaint that involves President Trump.

What triggered House Democrats to begin a formal impeachment inquiry?

The impeachment inquiry has cast a new pall over Trump's presidency just months after he emerged from the shadow cast by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether he colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 election.

One of the most glaring examples of this spin comes from the whistleblower's description of the events surrounding the phone call. Maguire said the person acted "by the book".

The new whistleblower report appears to have dramatically shifted the politics of the issue.

Earlier Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Attorney General William Barr - whom Trump mentioned repeatedly in his call with Zelenskiy - has "gone rogue" and that the Justice Department is covering up Trump's actions.

Several additional House Democrats came forward in support of an impeachment inquiry.

MYRE: So as you heard, Adam Schiff interjecting there, that's because President Trump has said this was a partisan person.

Still unknown is the identity of the whistleblower.

But it was Atkinson who told lawmakers about the complaint, without revealing its contents. It alleges a concerted White House effort to suppress the transcript of the call and describes a shadow campaign of diplomacy by the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani that unnerved some senior Trump administration officials. Although the whistleblower did not have direct knowledge of the Zelenskiy phone call, an independent investigator for the USA government found the allegations were credible.

Pelosi said attempts by the White House to hide records related to the call-as relayed in the whistleblower's complaint-constitutes a "cover-up".

Republicans largely focused on questioning the veracity of the whistleblower's allegations, much of which is secondhand but sourced to US officials. The whistleblower said the interference includes "pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President's main domestic political rivals".

National Strike Between GM, UAW Beginning to Impact Bowling Green Households
But as the strike moves into its second week, the company announced that they would have to temporarily lay off 120 employees. Nabbout's union local represents workers at five local companies that do some or a lot of manufacturing for General Motors .

The complaint also said the White House then attempted to "lock down" the information to prevent its public disclosure, including by removing the transcript of the call from the computer system that is typically used for such records of calls with foreign leaders and loading it into a separate electronic system that is used only for classified information that is of an "especially sensitive nature".

The White House also disputed the Washington Post story on Wednesday.

Whistleblowers can be an employee of a corporation, a non-profit organization or governments, but for the purposes of this story, we'll focus on the whistleblowing process for federal government employees.

Democrats are pledging to investigate both the allegations in the complaint as well as how the Trump administration handled it.

Pelosi said she didn't think Maguire was acting nefariously, but that he did break the law: "The law is very clear, the DNI shall convey the complaint to the intelligence committees - not the whole Congress, to the intelligence committee". That August 12 letter was sent to the inspector general at the Central Intelligence Agency, which worked to try to substantiate some of the allegations.

The House intelligence committee released a redacted version of the whistleblower complaint Thursday ahead of testimony from Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence. The White House released a rough transcript of that call on Wednesday.

Trump also reminds the Ukrainian president that "the United States has been very very good to Ukraine".

Trump instructed his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military assistance for Ukraine at least a week before the call, according to The Washington Post, to put pressure on the Ukrainian leader - a claim Trump bitterly disputes. Trump said that Giuliani would be traveling to Ukraine. Biden is the Democratic presidential frontrunner. But the president's allies on Capitol Hill said the memo completely exonerated him.

US intelligence officials at one point began withholding some sensitive intelligence from the president, based on concerns it could be leaked or compromised, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Only two U.S. presidents have been impeached by the U.S. House - Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.

How soon can we expect a vote on impeachment? The 2020 presidential election gets fully underway with the Iowa caucuses in February. The next day Trump canceled his intelligence briefing with Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel and tweeted, "Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school".

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